Author Archive for wiz

tree story

We saw it coming; or rather, we saw it going.

We’re in the midst of another big blow. Gusts are expected up to 100 mph. That’s kind of brisk. The power has been off and on all day.

We’ve been watching the swaying trees. When Peggy came upstairs today, she thought a particular tree was listing a bit more that usual. So she ‘planted’ herself on the sofa to knit while having a good view of the tree. Sure enough, a bit later she heard a crack and we all went to the window to see the tree. It had a good size split in the trunk. Knowing a gust would knock it down soon, we all stayed at the window. CRACK! We saw it fall. Immediately there was more light coming into the house. Unfortunately we also now have a clear view across the pond to a house that seems to start major yard/house/deck projects but never finishes them……

The winds are supposed to continue until Monday night. There may very well be more trees down near us.

Family treasures

After a few false starts, I finally have a gallery of quilts made by me and my dear mother-in-law, Bunny. Her creations are labeled as such, and the rest are my work. I wanted to have a record of the quilts for future generations; for them to see the wonderfulness of Bunny’s work. My work is strictly making a pattern.

The Mariner’s Compass/Storm at Sea was designed by Jerry. He chose the fabrics and drew the side panels. It’s kind of hard to see the detail, but two sides are an underwater scene while the other two are an above water scene complete with sailing ship and lighthouse.

Barney’s adult quilt was the last quilt Bunny made. Wilfred helped her because Alzheimer’s was taking hold of her mind.

The Cathedral Window quilt was 25 years in the making. I would work diligently for months at a time then put it away for years. It is completely hand stitched. There was no way to “cheat” and do some by machine, hence the long time in its building.

The baby quilts I made are all the same pattern, as you can readily see. They were fun to make, and they are all different, yet the same.

first blow of the season

The wind doth blow!!!  Or, as we like to say, “It’s doth-ing out.”

And when the wind blows, trees do bend.  Sometimes they fall, wherein we obtain firewood.   When they just sway and torque in the 80 mph winds, we have broken swing sets.  Yes, the huge beam which Jerry mounted between two massive spruce trees could not withstand the winds of last night.  The movement of the trees made one beam end disconnect from the tree.  Repair and reconstruction will ensue but not for some time.  It’s still (always!!) soccer season and that takes up a lot of weekend time.

The power also went out for an hour early this morning.  I had the oil lamps burning and manually dripped some coffee to sip while reading.  Pioneer days!

Greetings from the Woods!

My, my it’s been a long time since I wrote. Lots happening to keep us busy in the Woods. School began once again last month for me and Nikolai. He has figured out reading. He reads everything he sees; the fat free milk jug, the Fred Meyer strawberry jam label, words on T shirts, the newspaper, TIME magazine, anything. It’s great to see him develop. And Gabriel is not far behind. He figured out the number game since I last posted here. Gabriel will celebrate his third birthday on November 1. They’re growing right before our eyes.

My school is going along. I do have an “instructor” who is far from the stellar variety. Oh well, it is a community college, I have to take what is offered. I have my sights on Friday the 13th of June, 2008–Graduation Day!!!! Lots to do to get there but I’m up for it.

And the Woods, or wood, actually. Jerry rented a hydraulic log splitter two weeks ago and with a hard working crew got all the wood split. We now have more than enough wood for the winter stacked on the deck. Jerry and the Hobbitses are in the process of building a shed to store the rest of the wood.

Peggy is a knitting fiend, turning out masterpiece after masterpiece. She is definitely Chasing Bunny, her Memere.

Jerry continues to coach soccer. His season winds down next weekend; his next season will begin shortly thereafter. I swear he’ll coach until he is either a cripple or mindless, neither one coming in the foreseeable future.

Blessings on y’all.

Gordon Lightfoot and Vernonia

also posted on 360*

Jerry and I drove to Eugene Friday afternoon for the Gordon Lightfoot concert that evening. It was a four hour drive and we hit some of the Portland weekend traffic. Not much fun but it had to be dealt with.

We did make good time and arrived in Eugene about 4:30 - just enough time for Jerry to take a power nap before a long evening.

Dot had made a dinner reservation at a place down the street from our motel so we packed our concert gear in a bag and walked there. When she and her friend arrived we put our stuff in her car. We then proceeded to have a feast at the steak house.

Arriving at the venue, we found a spot of level ground to park our blankets. There was time to walk around before the concert began, which it did promptly at 8:00. Mr. Lightfoot’s voice had certainly aged but the talent shown through. He did some of the old favorites and some new compositions. Very nice. As the sun went down, the moon came up over the stage. The stars started peeping out and the bats were active in the air.

The song right before the break was “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” I have heard this song many times. I have envisioned the storm which blew early that November. I have known fishermen who have been in like storms and survived, and some who have not. But hearing Mr. Lightfoot sing it, oh my, I felt we should stand for a moment of silence to honor the 29 men who went down with the ship.

After the concert we pretty much collapsed at the motel. It was way past our bedtime.

Saturday morning we headed north again but spend only a brief amount of time and miles on I-5. We took back roads to Vernonia!!!

A little history here… When we drive to and from Portland, we always pass the cut-off to Vernonia. We also vow we will go there one day. But when we are passing the cut-off , we are always hell-bent to get to our final destination, hence no trip to Vernonia.

Estelina - you may “meet” Vern from Vernonia in Shanghaied next week.

It was our goal to discover this little town and play golf at their course. We did have a delightful lunch at a cafe: a fresh garden sandwich and a chicken wrap. Then it was off the play a round of golf.

Fun course if a bit challenging. I was shooting for a “double-par” score, a good way for beginners to score shown to me by my niece Michaela. I did OK. The sun was shining, there was no one behind us on the course, and I was with Jerry. Can’t beat that! We ended with superb scores on the final hole: birdie for Jerry and par for me.

More back roads toward home. This was the Hood to Coast weekend and the roads they take are the back ones also. Having participated in the relay many times, I knew how the traffic could be an absolute nightmare. However, a quick peek at the time and I knew that they would have already cleared the roads we wanted to travel. Excellent!

So! The concert was well worth the trip. Not only for the music but for the time with Jerry.

the ripple has rippled

Remember the ripple effect that was started by nephew Iain a few months ago? The one that put the family reunion planning into effect? Well, the reunion has come and gone. What a whirlwind of activity but great fun.

We played lots of golf, ate lots of homemade specialty foods, built “the puzzle from hell” which was then mounted on a board and brought home by Iain. The ocean water and pond water were utilized. Some of the kids had their first canoe ride.

Heather took an enormous number of pictures and I am going to direct you to her site to view them. She blogged on numerous subjects and loaded a bunch of galleries. She is far more motivated than I am concerning all that.

We are down to our little family of five again.

Jerry and I are camping this weekend for a soccer tournament. Saturday while he coaches, I will be taking the ferry across the Sound to pop in on my parents. It will be only a two hour trip instead of the four hour trip from home, and I get a ferry ride in the process. I do enjoy ferry rides. As I was growing up in Seattle, one of my favorite activities (when I was old enough) was to bus down to the docks, get on a ferry, and just ride for hours.

Next weekend Jerry and I head to Eugene for a Gordon Lightfoot concert. It’s at an outdoor venue so I hope the weather is dry. Dorothy will be joining us for the event.

Then two weeks after that, Jerry and I start our two week road trip to Calgary. Not too sure about that amount of driving but the change from the ordinary will be something. Looking forward to visiting with Laurelindë while there.

OK, that’s the news from here. Off to finished packing camping stuff.

AAA to the rescue

I had a bit of an “adventure” yesterday.

I drove to Vancouver to meet Estelina for lunch and a walk. The weather was such that we were able to enjoy lunch outdoors. We then went for a walk on the grounds and in the woods. Very, very nice.

I departed with plenty of time to make it home to get to soccer camp which I needed to do because I had the campers’ snack in my van.

Traffic moved right along on I-5 and on the spur into Longview. As I turned onto Industrial Way, there was something in the intersection which I could not avoid. I ran over it though I could not even tell you what it was. It sounded horrible.

I made my way through Longview and waited what seemed like an inordinate long time at the signal to turn onto the bridge. Finally, a green light. Making the turn I knew something was wrong. I was able to pull off the road before the ramp to the bridge. Flat tire. Whatever I had run over damaged the tire. The long wait at the light was probably a very good thing; it gave the tire enough time to deflate to get my attention.

So! Whip out the emergency cell phone and AAA card. I had a tow truck there within an hour. The guy changed the tire but only after we had to use the van manual to find the spare. It was under the van between the two front seats. The spare is just a “limp along” tire to get you somewhere so you can fix the flat.

Enter Les Schwab Tire Center, a mere 1/4 mile away. I queued up with the seemingly masses of people there and awaited my turn. It was determined the tire was not fixable. That did not surprise me so I authorized two new tires and waited for the installation to be complete.

On the road again at 5:20. Snack time at soccer camp is 6:30. OK, I can make that without any crazy fast driving. And I did make it, with two minutes to spare. I did not stay at the field to do any admin work, I needed to go home, I was pooped.

What a day! But it will not ever deter me from making another whirlwind drive to Vancouver to visit with Estelina….

Super Hero Day

Once again, Jerry shows his prowess at creating a costume at the spur of the moment.

Today is Super Hero Day at camp. He started out with a cape. As Peggy and I were digging it out of the boys’ closet, she suggested Gabriel’s baldric and sword. Then I headed to the sewing room for a strip of black fabric with two eye holes. Find a black shirt, turn it inside out to hide the writing, cut the tag off; add black soccer shorts and referee socks (inside out to hide the stripes) and you have…..


End of an era

Today is day three of soccer camp. Each day has a theme, today’s being Water Day. This means you dress up in whatever water-type array you wish. Jerry is fond of wearing his swim suit, goggles, and a shower cap. Many kids come in water wings or life jackets; most wear swim suits, some even wear flippers. (Have you ever tried playing soccer in flippers?!?) Snack is watermelon and the kids have a water fight with their brand new camp water bottles.

As Jerry and I prepped for today’s session, we remarked about the weather. It’s raining. Now, this is not an unusual thing in itself. However, in the 11 years of camp it has not rained on us. Sure, we’ve had cold days but no rain.

It is fitting weather for Water Day and a signal that it’s time to retire. I’m always looking for retirement signs. :) We have one more week then that’s it. It’s been a good run: great fun for kids and a huge fund raiser for the league.

Soccer–it’s a kick in the grass!!


Yesterday, Jerry had to go to Portland for meetings.  I figured I’d tag along to keep him company on the four hour round trip drive.  I would have about four hours to ‘waste’ while he was busy.

There is  a large shopping center a few miles from his meeting place so I headed there after dropping him off.  I had shopping list firmly in hand (said with tongue planted firmly in cheek) as I entered the mall.  First stop, the book store.  Nothing on my list but I can not pass up a book store.  I did a little impulse shopping, buying two bookmarks.

I wandered the mall and completed my wanderings in one hour.  I am not a shopper.   I bought a cup of coffee and settled into an overstuffed chair and listened to my ROTK book on my iPod.  Very handy little thing, my iPod.  I think it saved my sanity yesterday.

Lunch time rolled around and I went in search of food.  Did I mention the mall was  under major remodeling so there were not any eateries; the food court was non-existent.  I had passed a grocery store on the way to the mall so I popped in there for food.  And, oh, I can be a cheap date!  I hit the deli counter first: one slice of cheese and one slice of turkey.  The bakery was next: one roll.  Lunch cost me $1.70.  I had water in the car for my beverage.  I found a shady spot to park and ate my lunch then headed back to the office.

I was early so I got out my book, The Silmarillion,  walked across the street from the office and parked my bum on the shaded grass and read.  The temperature was probably in the 80s but there was a nice breeze so it was pleasant.  Jerry came out after a bit and we headed home.

If it were not for the four hours with Jerry, the day would have been a total waste.